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Richard Dunne: Defender for Whom?

No luck for this Irishman, rather, he’s a curse for his side these days.

When teams line up to play Manchester City, are they overjoyed to see Dickie Dunne in the back for Man City, sporting the captain’s armband and all?

I would think so, because Dunne is more likely to score for the opposing team than his own. Despite his resolute play throughout a game, winning headers and controlling the back line, in the end he’s more likely to trip up, miss read or miss play the ball and help orchestrate a goal scoring opportunity for the opposing club rather than defend his team from conceding goals.


For teams lining up to play City, Dunne is like having a wild card in the deck that turns your hand from a loser to a winner – a pot winning turn when you least expect it.

Dunne has scored 7 goals for Manchester city in 266 appearances, but he’s also scored 6 owns goals. And this doesn’t include the times where he’s kicked the ball into a teammate that then resulted in an own goal.

I’m confused though, why does Manchester City spends all of this money on a player like Robinho but keep a player like Dick Dunne to marshal their back line? I’m sorry if this comes across as too harsh, but this is the English Premier League, you can’t continue to make so many mistakes and keep your job. This is one if not the top professional soccer league in the world. It just doesn’t make any sense, especially when you have all of this Abu Dhabi oil money rushing in to buy players and build a new club.

Dunne scores more own goals and gets more red cards than probably any other player in the league. If he’s not bumbling a play or miss kicking the ball, then he’s fouling a player and getting tossed from the game. Which just might be the best thing for Manchester City.

In their recent match against Tottenham Hotspurs, Dunne tried to win the ball with his chest when he was the last man in the back, but he missed the ball and it fell to Darren Bent who was then powered the ball into the back of the net. Later, Dunne fouled Bent who was in clear on goal and Dunne, thankfully to some City fans I’m sure, received a red card and was off the pitch.

After Dunne was gone, and Manchester City was playing with nine players (Gelson Fernandes was also sent off earlier in the match), they actually seemed more dangerous and less vulnerable in the back. Dunne was gone and there was no more need to worry about mishaps in the back or own goals.

And there’s no relief coming anytime soon for Manchester City fans, as Dunne has signed a new four-year contract that puts him on board through 2012.

The stark contrast between the skill of Robinho and the absence of skill in Dunne epitomizes the two sides of Manchester City, the old and the new, the good and the bad, the silky and the bumbling. In which direction does Manchester City want to go?

Even more confounding, Dunne’s an Irish international, not sure how helpful he’s been in bumbling and fumbling goals into his own net for his country. Hopefully he’s a much different player and the luck of the Irish is on his side when he suits up for Ireland, otherwise, it will take a Leprechaun to conjure up some kind of magic if they want to make it into the World Cup in South Africa with Dunne in the back.

As I understand it, Dunne has been named the player of the year for Manchester City the past few years, am I missing something? Are they naming the most unpredictable player of the year – who can score for either team? Granted, Dunne is a workhorse of a player who rarely stops running, but come on, his mistakes this year make me question the strategy of the Manchester City management.


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